August 2012

LeAnne Velona

The Beauty Professional| by Fred Jones


Much to Learn … Much to Gain

Every stylist understands the importance of technical skills -- as do their clientele.

But every stylist will also readily admit there is much more to being a success "behind the chair" than just artistic competencies. And for a salon owner or truly independent booth renter, the volume of needed comprehension exponentially rises.

Beauty college curriculum is largely governed by State Board mandated clock hours that focus on safety concerns and protocols, not client management and legal and successful business development practices.

So individual stylists, booth renters and salon owners all need to become life-long learners.

One's education simply cannot end at graduation. Continuing education is crucial for staying on the cutting edge of beauty trends and techniques, technological and product advances, client management tools and procedures, marketing and PR opportunities, legal and regulatory requirements and reforms, business capitalization and insurance needs, tax compliance, and the list goes on and on.

As my previous columns have profiled, this industry is made-up of passionate artists and courageous entrepreneurs. Along with our passion and courage, however, each of us also need to be responsible professionals. And to be absolutely accountable to our clients, our businesses and our trade, we each need to constantly be evolving our skills and understanding of the beauty profession.

Fortunately, we live and practice our profession in the Twenty-First Century, making valuable resources merely a mouse-click away from the beauty professional. In addition, high caliber trade shows are in abundance throughout the country, and smaller seminars and symposiums are also readily available.

This column often turns to industry-related experts for their experienced judgment and recommendations. I embrace the old adage: "It's not what you know … it's who you know that counts!" And knowing the right experts and trustworthy resources to turn to is crucial to keeping your skills and awareness current.

There are organizations and individual businesses that provide relevant and inspiring expertise, both online and in printed publications. This magazine is a prime example of such, with its experienced columnists (how's that for humility?!) providing their valuable and unique insights every month.

Just last month the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) publicly released a "Code of Ethical Practice" for all sectors of our industry; these concise standards of operations are available online for free and can be proudly displayed at every workstation and salon for those beauty professionals willing to make the pledge.

The challenge is not finding available resources to educate and advance one's techniques and knowledge -- we are bombarded by such opportunities in our "inboxes" of life and profession. No, the real challenge is being able to distinguish the truly valuable from the fluff. Seek out trusted experts, proven associations and businesses, and reliable support networks to sharpen and enhance your professional competencies.

As a Stylist reader, perhaps I am just preaching to the choir. But ask yourself these questions: Do you eagerly look for and take advantage of educational resources to perfect your skills and strengthen your intellectual understanding of the beauty industry?

How often do you communicate with or read the words of experts to gain from their valuable experiences and insights? Are you actively involved with an industry association that represents the interest of every beauty professional (at the state, national or international level)?

The answers to these questions may surprise you. If you aren't committed to being a life-long learner, commit now … and then start raising the professionalism of your practice of the beauty trade, your salon business and your profession!

Fred Jones serves as Legal Counsel to the Professional Beauty Federation of California, a trade association singularly dedicated to raising the professionalism of the beauty industry. To learn more about the PBFC and receive further details about the subjects contained in his column, go to